Coming to theatres from director Amy Redford and IFC Films is the story of past mistakes and present pain because of WHAT COMES AROUND.
Anna (Grace Van Dien) is a young girl who has found long distant love on the internet with Eric (Kyle Gallner). Keeping their relationship quiet has made it all seem too romantic and forbidden. Not even mom Beth (Summer Phoenix) and fiancé Tim (Jesse Garcia) suspect that Anna is in love. On her 17th birthday, Anna is shocked to know that Eric is at her front door.
Bringing her a gift, Anna makes it clear that she is uncomfortable with what he has done. Yet, she enjoys spending time being with him in person. That’s when she decides to bring it all out in the open and introduces Beth to Eric. The response is that of shock for both mom and Tim but for totally different reasons.
When Beth wants Eric out of the house, Anna comes to his defense and Tim tries to keep calm with the situation. Trying to make her daughter understand, it becomes clear that the more Beth tries to stop it, the more Anna is going to make poor decisions. Even friends Brit (Reina Hardesty) and Ashley (Sierra Nicole Rose) try to tell her that the age difference is going to be a problem.
While showing a house, Eric shows up and confronts Beth about the past and now it becomes clear why she has such an aversion to Anna’s relationship. It is time for the truth to come out totally and, even as it does, each person in this situation cannot avoid the pain.
Van Dien as Anna is a young girl who is at that point in her life where she thinks she knows better than any adult in her life. Keeping her relationship with Eric a secret proves that she knows but is enjoying the feelings that come along with the budding ‘romance’. Van Dien plays the role impeccably because this is everything I would expect from a teenager. Even when the truth comes out, she does what teenagers do – whatever they damn well please. In that sense, Van Dien has captured the role perfectly!
Gallner as Eric proves to be that person mothers are scared of for their daughters. That being said, there is a little more to the story. Gallner portrays Eric as a young man who knows the problem he is causing but, like Anna, seems to know better than the adults around him. Once he arrives at Anna’s door, he can not seem to stay away no matter what. Gallner portrays Eric with a duality that comes from the well written character.
Phoenix as Beth is a woman who has finally found happiness in her life and work. Thrilled to be getting married, those emotions come to a screeching halt when Eric arrives. Trying to keep her daughter safe, it only comes off as being a controlling mother who couldn’t possibly understand how she feels in Anna’s eyes. Phoenix brings her part of the story in a way that is unexpected and intriguing, well done.
Garcia as Tim is a police officer that suspects something is wrong with the situation. Not that he agrees with what Anna is doing in the least but his cop senses tell him that there is more. He has an investment in this family that will become his and he wants to keep both Beth and Anna safe.
Other cast include Indiana Affleck as Denny, Gabriel Eckert as Leo with Paul Tew and Chase Voelker.
IFC Films is a leading distributor of quality talent-driven independent films. Some of the company’s successes include BOYHOOD, FRANCES HA, MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN, TOUCHING THE VOID, CHE, TINY FURNITURE and CARLOS. For more information on films from IFC please visit www.ifcfilms.com.
Director Redford has obviously learned so much from her famous father Robert Redford. There is a story here that is a mixture of family, friendships, teenage angst and secrets and Redford makes sure that they are all addressed in equal measure.
WHAT COMES AROUND addresses one of the most frightening things as a parent is the relationships happening on the internet. Impressionable young teens looking for love, acceptance, acknowledgement etc. can succumb to the attention of the wrong person. That is what happens to Anna in the sense that she is being placed in a situation where she does not have full knowledge of the facts.
The twists and turns of the story bring the film close to being a thriller but instead, lands in the middle of a warning shot across the parental bow and secrets that can wreak havoc on everyone. The cast does an amazing job at bringing both of those concepts to the film. Keeping the cast to a minimum provides the air of tension and that is the attention grabber. Bonus, the title is perfect!
In the end – look outside!